Interview by Amanda McIntyre - Chavis
Milica earned her Master’s Degree in composition from The Juilliard School where she was a music faculty for over 20 years. She is the founder and president of the Harlem-based non-profit for music and multimedia, Paracademia Center, Inc., Founder and CEO of TESA (Technology Enhanced Stage Apparel) Music Director of Gallery MC, advisory board member at Composers Now and Miolina.
Her work was supported, commissioned and presented by organizations such as LMCC, NYSCA, ASCAP, Whitney Museum, New Dramatists, HERE Arts Center, American Composers Orchestra, LVMH Moët Hennessy/ Louis Vuitton, Vision Into Art, Buglisi Dance Theater, Joyce Theater, Symphony Space, Zankel Hall/Carnegie, Alice Tully Hall/Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, BAM Café, Bohemian National Hall among others. Intercontinental highlights include BEMUS (Serbia), EtnaFest (Italy) and UFBA (Brazil). Milica’s works range from one-woman multimedia shows, theatrical soccer chants, sound installations to operatic and symphonic works.
Paranosic’s musical and performance style, which often blends contrasting elements creating unpredictable results, has been compared to “liquor-filled pralines,” (Morgenpost), and ’edgily comical’ (Klaus Klingbeil Der Lausitzer Rundschau Germany)
Film scoring credits include the award-winning Das Fräulein and Cure: The Life of Another, and more recently, Killing Anabella, an independent animated short.
What is the main concept behind your project / product and how did you come up with it?
As a classically trained musician (although I prefer to refer to myself as ‘classically challenged”) I always hated the conventional boring ‘all-black’ stage look that was the norm for us for ages. And when the technology entered our performance lives, things got worse. Tangled wires and cables everywhere, all black, boxy and utilitarian looking, screaming the wrong message: stage look is NOT important. So I decided to do something about it; that’s how Technology Enhanced Stage Apparel was born.
When did you begin this venture, and do you have other members in your team?
I have started it in 2013 and do everything myself, out of my kitchen.
How long did it take you to be where you are now?
Things are constantly changing so where I am now is not nearly the end of my journey. But it took about 4 years for me to be able to design and equip a full-evening show like it was the case with the recent Dancing Divas and to start to receive commissions from around the globe.
What was the biggest obstacle?
Reaching broader audience, spreading the world to the larger artists/technologists/fashion communities.
What are your biggest achievements to date?
A commission from an underground SandM performance/party in Paris! PARIS! The style capital of the world!!!
What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the niche you are in? How about being a female founder / entrepreneur?
As a one-woman business, I find it difficult to address and implement all the sides of the project. Also, classical music is not very commercial so it is harder to funded projects in our field. As a woman, an immigrant woman, I face additional challenges, but am happy to be a part of the change of such a climate.
Is the #WomenInTech movement important to you and if yes, why?
It is a supportive community. No one can achieve alone what becomes possible in a group with a shared vision.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to all female founders and female entrepreneurs out there?
Begin it. Today!!!
What will be the key trends in the fashion tech industry in the next 5 years and where do you see it heading?
I see a lot of sustainable fashion, recyclable and printable designs one can wear once, be super special and then recycle. I also see clothing that enhances one’s health and security.
Who are your 3 inspirational women in fashion tech?
Iris van Herpen, Andreia Chaves, Suzanne Lee.
This interview was conducted by Amanda McIntyre-Chavis, Women of Wearables Ambassador in New York, USA. She is the CEO and Founder of LegendFactory, a interactive brand management company and two new tech initiatives: Muzaik, a social media aggregator and Myndfull, a wearable tech company. She is also an active mentor, arts advocate and supporter of various social causes. Based in New York, Amanda is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. (NARAS), the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment (NABFEME), National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), the ELLEVATE Network and Women In Music. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMcChavis.